Stay motivated through college ups and downs

So, you left the home nest and set off for a grand adventure at college. The only problem is your wings don’t seem to have come in yet. College provides so many opportunities to grow as a person and grab hold of the future. But with so many things flying around, it often seems very appealing to skip class and hide under a blanket for a day.

Motivation can be in short supply when you are left to your own devices. Chasing your dreams can be accomplished through lots of little steps. Here are just a few examples of things to keep you motivated throughout the process.

The Internet, although it has a  reputation for being a distraction, can actually provide some treasures in its piles of trash.

The main resource that it holds is shared knowledge that can be used to inspire. Ideas tend to set off a chain reaction in the thinking process. Although a paper about the anatomy of a rat seems less than appealing, reading inspirational tales from people in the medical field can help motivate you toward the ultimate goal. The key is not to let your mind wander off into the web’s endless corridors. Give yourself a set time to explore, and then tie back what you have found to your current project. As Frankenstein author Mary Shelley said, “Nothing contributes so much to tranquilize the mind as a steady purpose — a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye.”

f you are a visual person, decorate your study space with images from the Pinterest website that capture some of your goals. In his writing guide, “How to Write What You Want and Sell What You Write”, author Skip Press talks about the ancient practice of the Hopi tribe called “sitting in pictures.” Today, it is referred to as creative visualization, but the same principle still applies.

Athletes constantly train their minds to do this, but it can also help with staying positive and goal-oriented in college, which, in essence, is training for the “real world.”

In a blog post for Psychology Today titled, “Seeing is Believing: The Power of Visualization,” Angie LeVan writes, “It’s been found that mental practices can enhance motivation, increase confidence and self-efficacy, improve motor performance, prime your brain for success and increase states of flow—all relevant to achieving your best life!”

So, the next time you feel stuck in the mud, use your brain as a palette and add some color to your future.

It is important to bring individuality into the picture as well.

Being self-aware and developing a routine that caters to your personality is key in college. Personally, I like open spaces and feeling connected. The cubicle in the library shuts down my desire to work.

TCU’s campus is full of benches and coffee shops that help ease me into study mode. Pay attention to environments that elicit some positive endorphins. Keeping healthy and balanced is also critical in achieving proactivity. Power naps and smoothies can do a lot for the mind with little effort. 

Little things that help you slow down and gain perspective really do help in keeping yourself charged. There are so many amazing things in which to invest. Finding that motivation may seem tough at times, but through visualization, self-awareness and inspiration, you can keep a positive frame of mind.


Sarah Greufe is a sophomore journalism major from Ardmore, Okla.